by Chris Powell
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Anyone hanging around the gold sector for the last 20 years knows where much of Britain’s gold went.
Chancellor Gordon Brown sold half of it between 1999 and 2002, supposedly to diversify the country’s foreign exchange reserves but more likely to rescue London bullion banks from their short positions as the gold market turned upward and broke the gold carry trade of the preceding decade.
With the gold price having increased about eight times, from L180 to L1,500 per ounce, since the “Brown’s Bottom” sale began, the operation turns out to have cost the British government something like a trillion bazillion pounds. But what the heck — the banks were saved.